And welcome to the part 2 of the “How do you like your romance?” blog tour.
Today on Chouett, Lucy Inglis is introducing us about her latest novel “Crow Mountain”. You can also enjoy the excerpt at the end of this post, and hopefully this will make you want to pick it up!!
My new novel, Crow Mountain, is set in Montana in both 1867 and the present day and features two English girls arriving in the state for the first time. The chapters move back and forth between the different stories, and so I knew I had to make them both distinctive so that the girls’ voices didn’t become muddled.
I started out with the idea of a diary for my 1867 heroine, Emily, as at the beginning of the book she is very much living an almost completely internal life due to her strict upbringing as a diplomat’s daughter. I wanted readers to love Emily as much as I did, so it was essential that I found a way for her to express herself. The diary, is in fact, a very long letter to the young man, Nate, who saves her from a stagecoach crash. It’s in the first person and address Nate directly as ‘you’. From the outset, this broke the ‘fourth wall’ between Emily and the reader. It was immensely personal to write, and I fell completely in love with Nate and Emily over the course of writing the book, something that (thankfully!) readers are saying is happening to them too.
Hope and Cal, as modern teenagers, think in different ways, and I used a more detached voice for their time together. Their story is lived in quick-time compared to the nineteenth century summer, and that coupled with a first person narrator would have been muddling, but Hope’s thoughts intrude into the text at what I hoped would be key moments. Hope and Cal have always felt like friends. Chicken House are an amazing publishing house to work with and the team were so invested in the manuscript – Cal was the character who drew the most comments about how he would act or what he would say, it was as if everyone there really knew him. And I’m so proud of my girl, Hope, for everything she achieves. Her path isn’t conventional, and it’s probably not fashionable, but she’s her own person by the end of the story.
I wrote Crow Mountain pretty much straight through, rather than building scenes or chapters, and so adding the final words were emotional. The book was a joy to write, if heart-exhausting at times, and I hope people will feel the same about reading it. It was a story that was important to me on so many levels: historically, environmentally, emotionally.
If you click the link here, it’ll take you to Emily’s original ‘first letter’ to Nate. But BE WARNED, it’s a little spoilery. It was the first thing I wrote for the book, and I hope it’ll make anyone who’s read Crow Mountain happy. It’s only one page, but I think it’s a good one, and reflects how truly and utterly Emily and Nate love each other. If you read it, enjoy. And I hope, very much, that you’ll love Crow Mountain’s cast just as much as I do.